There is no denying that children literally have the world at their fingertips. Their opportunities to learn, collaborate, play, communicate, and create is almost difficult to conceive. Sadly, embedded in this online world are risks, harmful predators and inappropriate content.
Keeping a child safe online can become easier when parents take time to really get to know a child’s online world.
It’s much better to start an open dialogue than to spy or pry on your child. Children might enjoy this role change. Tell your children that you don’t want to switch their phone off or see their private messages – you simply want to understand how they use their device.
Some things you could talk about or do with your child to get to know their online world:
But please don’t be offended if they don’t want to befriend you on social media. It’s better to give them this privacy – otherwise they might create a fake profile, often one that looks impeccable, giving you a false sense of security.
Explore your child’s understanding of internet risks. Given their experience at school, with younger or older siblings – where do they see risks?
Diving straight into a topic such as sexting may make your child clam up. It’s better to have multiple conversations over time. A positive approach will help your child become more comfortable confiding in you and discussing more difficult topics.